Formula X for Sephora Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer
Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer

Formula X for Sephora Nail Lacquer ($10.50 for 0.40 fl. oz. each) launched in October, and it did so with quite a splash as it launched with over 200 shades. Since it was a new formula, I tested three of the shades for wear (the ones in this post) over the past month and a half. Of course, keep in mind that almost nothing chips on me, and I get extraordinary wear out of most formulas. Formula X held up well on me with very, very minor tip wear by the seventh day, and I wore A+ for a full ten days with minor tip wear (I had more nail growth than I did tip wear) but no chipping. The natural shine–that is, without a top coat–dulls a bit by the fifth day. After playing with these, I ended up caving on the 22-polish set during the VIB sale, but I’ll be breaking up the set and reviewing as I can (since they’re all part of the permanent range!)–so more to come eventually.

A+ Nail Lacquer ($10.50 for 0.40 fl. oz. each) is described as a “raspberry.” It’s a brightened, medium-dark, blue-based pink cream. It had a really high-shine, glossy finish when it dried down, and it’s very, very pigmented. On my ring finger, I applied only one coat (the rest all have two). Two coats definitely give the color a really plush look–made it look almost jelly-like. The consistency was well-balanced between thick and thin, so it didn’t pool along the edges.Β MAC Girl About Town (LE, $16.00) is bluer-based. L’Oreal Members Only (P) is pinker.See comparison swatches.

Chaotic Nail Lacquer ($12.50 for 0.40 fl. oz. each) is described as “black and white confetti.” It’s a glitter top coat that consists of black and white hexagon-shaped glitters in multiple sizes, plus black bar glitter, all suspended in a clear base. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin (I’d say on the thinner side for a glitter top coat), and one coat had good coverage and spread evenly without having to pull or tug the glitter into place–other than if a bar glitter landed on the edge of the nail, then you might need to tug at it so it doesn’t hang off the edge of the nail. I applied one coat over A+, and then I applied two coats of it on its own on my thumbnail. China Glaze Glitz β€˜n’ Pieces (LE, $8.00) is a mix of silver and black. See comparison swatches. This particular shade was also available in a previous Sephora polish range (same name).

Perfection Nail Lacquer ($10.50 for 0.40 fl. oz. each) is described as a “smoky violet.” It’s a muted, gray-ish mauve with a cream finish. It was mostly opaque after two coats, and the consistency was slightly thick but workable and didn’t take too long to dry down. It did dry down to a really high-gloss finish, though. China Glaze Below Deck (LE, $8.00) is darker. Zoya Jana (P, $8.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

A+
A+
A+

Permanent

10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
100%
Total
Chaotic
Chaotic
A

Permanent

9
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
94%
Total
Perfection
Perfection
B+

Permanent

8.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
8
Texture
10
Longevity
4.5
Application
89%
Total
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Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer
Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer

Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer
Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer

Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer
Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer

Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer
Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer

Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer
Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer

Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer
Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer

Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer
Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer

Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers
Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers

Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers
Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers

Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers
Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers

Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers
Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers

Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers
Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers

Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers
Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers

Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers
Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers

Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers
Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers

Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers
Formula X Chaotic over A+ Nail Lacquers

Formula X Perfection Nail Lacquer
Formula X Perfection Nail Lacquer

Formula X Perfection Nail Lacquer
Formula X Perfection Nail Lacquer

Formula X Perfection Nail Lacquer
Formula X Perfection Nail Lacquer

Formula X Perfection Nail Lacquer
Formula X Perfection Nail Lacquer

Formula X Perfection Nail Lacquer
Formula X Perfection Nail Lacquer

Formula X Perfection Nail Lacquer
Formula X Perfection Nail Lacquer

Formula X Perfection Nail Lacquer
Formula X Perfection Nail Lacquer

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Product Availability

Formula X Nail Lacquer $14.00/0.4 OZ.
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About the Reviewer

Reviewer

Christine has normal-to-dry skin with areas of dryness (cheeks, nose, and under the eyes). She has a light-medium skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones. Her best foundation matches include: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral (best match), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige 2N1, Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow in 4.0, Hourglass Warm Ivory Vanish Seamless Finish, Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous in Dusk, MAC NC20/NC25, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid in Y305 (140). For more matches, please read our full Foundation FAQ. For more information on our review process, please read our Review FAQ.

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30 Comments

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Good to know Pyrotechnic is good, too! I really like glitter top coats that aren’t too thick AND that don’t have to be tugged into place a bunch!

probably a cream and an effects topcoat! from the sephora site, the one that’s catching my eye most is the orchid pink Gemini, and then I want to try the opalescent topcoat cause I’m obsessed with opal flakies and can’t find them anywhere!

I’m SO on the fence with these. I wanted to love it so so so much because my nails chip like CRAZY. I was really hoping for a miracle product (so I could justify buying the $55 set) and they were definitely more long-wearing than any other polish but I’m still not sure if it’s worth it.

Has anyone tried the full system? Does that make the difference?

Hey Annie!

I did try with the base/top coat, which I hope to review at some point, and it seemed to extend the wear by a day or two for me – in terms of less tip wear – and longer shine overall. BUT almost nothing chips on me even without a base/top coat πŸ™

I haven’t tried the top coat, but I’ve had very good luck wearing their base coat with this. I found this to be one of the longer wearing formulas on me (my nails are very short so can be prone to chipping). As a bonus, the base coat and the polish play nice with Poshe.

I tried Gemini this weekend and so far I’m pretty impressed. Very opaque, dried fast, and has worn well so far. I put it on Saturday afternoon and had tiny chipping on the thumb on Sunday (I usually don’t get more than a day or two out of nail polish unscathed) so I ran a third coat over it and now it’s Monday and not quite as shiny as it was but still looks great. Very unusual for me. It’s what I wish Marc Jacobs was. Similar formula – just less brittle.

Wow! I’m very impressed with the formula and colors. Sephora used to have those awful mini-bottles for $5. 200 is a great shade range! Although this is more expensive than Essie…

Yeah, they’re a bit pricier than you’d expect, but so far I’ve been quite impressed – the level of shine and plushness of A+ reminds me of why I fell hard for Guerlain’s new lacquer.

If you’re comparing to the price of drugstore nail polish, $10.50 is a bit of a splurge. However, when you consider that Sephora carries high end, luxury brands, $10.50 is nothing compared to the prices of other brands’ nail polish (case in point, Illamasqua, Marc Jacobs, Dior, etc.). It helps to either use a VIB 10% off coupon or wait for one of the sales/coupon events that Sephora does a few times a year. It is most definitely worth the money, though, especially if you buy the whole system. I work for Sephora, specifically in the shipping and receiving department, and I cannot get nail polish to last a single day without a big chip because I’m constantly using my hands to open boxes, plastic bins that are a pain in my ass, doing gondola updates (a task that guarantees destruction of any manicure), etc. Formula X, when using the whole system, will typically wear 3-5 days with minimal tip wear on my hands. It’s seriously the best, and the system makes other brands last much longer. I tried with my Zoya polish (my favourite brand for years, Formula X is challenging that), and it made such a big difference. I’ve been holding back on purchasing dozens of colours haha.

Hard Candy’s Black Tie Optional looks identical – and the wear is great – and it’s under $4.00 CDN (so it must be cheaper in the U.S.)! I’m a part time cashier so polish lasts less than two days usually. With that one I believe I got 5 days out of my manicure.

I bought a Formula X nail polish last week just for the hell of it in the shade Legend. It’s definitely a fall shade, blackened purple with violet shimmer & silvery sparkles. This nail polish formula is very pigmented, 1 coat is opaque, and it applies very easily. I like it more than the Marc Jacobs polish I bought in Sally, which looks more black than anything.

I’d definitely recommend trying this brand, especially for the price & amount of product yoΓΌ get.

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